SAN ANTONIO — In a remarkable show of support, every former District 10 council member still residing in San Antonio has endorsed the candidacy of Marc Whyte.
Seven former councilmen, who represented the Northeast Side district for a combined 32 years, signed an endorsement letter Thursday for Whyte, a 42-year-old attorney and 2018 Republican candidate for the Texas House.
Whyte filed for the council seat Thursday morning, shortly before District 10 incumbent Clayton Perry announced that he would not be seeking a fourth term. Perry currently faces charges related to a Nov. 2022 car crash, for allegedly leaving the scene of an accident and driving while intoxicated.
This display of unanimity for Whyte is particularly impressive because it covers a wide ideological and generational span.
While most of the former District 10 reps endorsing Whyte identify as political conservatives, Chip Haass, a progressive Democrat, is also backing Whyte.
Mike Gallagher, Carlton Soules, John Clamp, Jeff Webster, Lyle Larson and Jimmy Hasslocher also signed the letter of support.
“While we do not always agree on every policy or political issue, we are unified in one common belief,” the letter states. “We must always have a strong effective leader who reflects our values, and who can work collaboratively with other council members to get things done for District 10.
“Marc Whyte is the leader who rises to that challenge. He is dedicated to finding practical solutions to the issues we face.”
Whyte is stressing his determination to be a force for collaboration on the council and to represent the full spectrum of his district.
Standing outside City Hall on Thursday, flanked by his wife Lorien and their two young daughters, Ashlynn and Olivia, Whyte responded to a reporter’s question about whether he, like Perry, would be the lone conservative vote of opposition on many council agenda items.
Whyte said he expected to be an advocate for small business, crime prevention and low taxes.
“So if that’s a conservative vote then, yes, that’s me,” Whyte said. “Do I want to be the lone vote? Absolutely not.”
Whyte’s friends and associates emphasize his background as a mediator and say he firmly believes in listening to opposing views and searching for common ground.
In recent weeks, Whyte handled the potentially awkward uncertainty of Perry’s future plans with diplomatic sensitivity.
Whyte said Thursday that he and Perry spoke to each other “every couple of days” over the past three weeks.
“I wanted to give him space to make his own decision,” Whyte said. “I never wanted him to feel like I was pushing him out in any way, because that certainly was never the intent.”
Perry, who appointed Whyte to the city’s Zoning Commission in 2019, will likely endorse Whyte in the coming weeks.
Whyte’s cause received another boost on Friday when Pauline Rubio, an adjunct business professor at Palo Alto College, threw her support to Whyte.
Last November, Rubio was a finalist for the interim appointment to fill in for Perry while he took a hiatus. She considered running in the May election and probably would have been Whyte’s strongest opponent.
In her statement, Rubio called Whyte the one candidate in District 10 “who is genuinely committed to an inclusive, innovative and collaborative approach to leadership.”
Whyte doesn’t do things in a haphazard way. Even in his unsuccessful 2018 bid for Texas House District 121, he raised more than $164,000, including $25,000 of his own money.
He established himself in that race as a pragmatic voice of reason, in the mold of the man he sought to succeed: outgoing Texas House Speaker Joe Straus.
Sources say Whyte initially thought of running again for the Legislature after current state Rep. Steve Allison retires, but then concluded that he had a better chance of making a difference as one of 11 members of City Council, rather than as one of 150 state representatives.
He has put together a formidable campaign team: data-crunching guru Christian Anderson, consultant (and 2017 District 10 candidate) Jonathan Delmer, fundraising specialist Norma Denham and the Austin-based Raconteur Media. Whyte is also lending his campaign $50,000.
At a time when many politicians are being rewarded for inciting divisiveness and rancor, Whyte is consciously rejecting that approach.
“I’m constantly working with people who have different ideas about things, different visions, and trying to find some common ground; to find a solution that works for everybody,” he said Thursday.
“I think those skills are going to serve me well here in City Hall. We need more of that.”
Feb. 18, 2023
Updated: Feb. 18, 2023 5:45 p.m.
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